Niraj Ranjan
June 13, 2017

5 Ways Non-Writers Can Nail Content Creation

5 Ways Non-Writers Can Nail Content Creation

There is no better way to establish your expertise, while adding value to your prospects and customers, than creating a blog. But, for a blog to be effective, you need to create quality and relevant content. And that is not an easy thing to do. Especially for non-writers.

With content marketing gaining more relevance every passing day, more individuals from non-writing backgrounds are being forced to create content. Many end up wasting too much time and effort on it without having much to show for it.

If you belong to this category, don’t be disheartened.

There are ways to you can make this bittersweet pill less bitter and more sweet. Read on to find out how non-writers can nail content creation.

1. Have a well-defined structure in place

Content creation is not merely about writing articles. It is way more than that. You need set clear expectations for your content.

Start by defining your target audience clearly, understanding what type of content they would they find helpful and relevant. This will help you figure out a set of topics or areas that you could cover.

Next, develop a framework to make the content creation process easier and systematic. It should help you answer questions like:

  • How often must you create content?
  • How do you put your content to use?  Possibilities include:
    • Creating brand image and awareness
    • Increasing signups
    • Getting people to sign up for a webinar
  • What are the subjects your prospects will find most interesting?
  • What style of content presentation am I going to stick to? Formal and descriptive or creative and sassy etc.

Once you have a structure like that in place, your efforts will be more targeted, relevant and productive.

2. Technology is your friend

Nobody ever said content creation is easy. Thankfully though, there are many tools out there to make writing easier. For everything from brainstorming to refining your content, they have got you covered. Besides streamlining the process, they will make you a better writer too, as you are constantly made aware of the mistakes you are committing.

Here are a few good tools to make content writing easier:

  • Grammarly: This is a real life-saver for those of us who haven’t had a formal education in the art of writing. The app will scan through your content, highlight all the grammatical and punctuation mistakes.
  • Hemingway editor: This is a great tool to refine your content. All you need to do is paste your content there, the tool will highlight the sentences that are hard to read, phrases with simpler alternatives, etc. It also gives your content a readability score.

These are the two basic tools that every writer should have in their kitty. There are many more popular tools out there that can improve the quality of your content.

3. Regularly ask for feedback

The effectiveness of your content creation efforts is decided by how well your audience connects with it. If the content doesn’t strike a chord with them, it will be a waste of time of effort. A lot of content creators end up spending too much time on the art of writing while ignoring the most fundamental aspect – to connect with the audience.

That’s exactly why even successful writers make it a point listen to feedback from others before publishing their work. So, there is no reason why non-writers like us shouldn’t do the same.

Make sure you collect customer/audience feedback about your content. It will help you find out whether your content is conveying your thoughts or intention as is. If it fails to do so, or if your audience finds it hard to comprehend, then you might have to rethink your writing style/approach.

Negative feedback is hard to take, especially when you are starting out and you are not very sure about your skills. You may feel the urge to drop the idea entirely. Don’t! Perseverance is the key here. Best-selling novelist, J.K Rowling had to send her first novel’s (Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone) manuscript to 12 different publishers before finally getting it published.

The idea is to keep going. Be open to criticism, understand the areas you are lacking and keep improving. Dedicate time to improving your writing skills. You can enroll for an online course or find a mentor who can give you constructive criticism.

4. Be innovative and adaptable

Writing is definitely one of the most important ways of content presentation. But, that doesn’t mean you have to focus solely on it – especially if you are not very good at it. Instead of relying on writing alone, mix it up a little with alternative content presentation styles like infographics, graphs etc.

For example, if you want to create an in-depth piece but writing it seems like a never-ending nightmare, you could go for a less text-heavy alternative like the following:

  • Video tutorials
  • Listsicle” posts
  • Webinars/ebooks/Slideshares
  • Roundups/series posts etc.
  • Infographics and other graphic presentations

The key here is to pick a format that is right up your alley. For example, if you are a graphic designer, creating a good infographic may not be too much of a hassle. This saves you from feeling compelled to write more. Plus, it will help keep things fresh and interesting for your audience.

5. Make the process less stressful

How do you get yourself to do something you hate? Simple, make it less stressful and more enjoyable. The same can be done with writing. The key here is to simplify, eliminate or delegate the more demanding aspects of writing, such as proofreading, editing, SEO, social media promotion etc.

Here are a few tips on how to do it:

  • Routines: Many non-writers find it difficult to make time for writing. And even if they did, they end up spending far too much time without any real progress. How to solve this? Create a routine and make sure that you follow it consistently. While making your weekly schedule, block some time each day for writing and nothing else. Add a topic for each time block. This ensures that you will go into the day knowing what to write and the time you have to complete it.
  • No room for perfectionism: Always remember, your aim is to be helpful and not flaunt your literary prowess. Most of your readers will be reading your articles not because they love reading. Rather, they want the advice/tips you are offering. So, ensure it is easily readable and understandable. Give examples and illustrations. Make use of sub-headings, bullet points, pictures etc.
  • Delegate proofreading and editing: Proofreading/editing is something many non-writers dread. Rid yourself of this nightmare by hiring someone (maybe a freelancer) or by delegating the task to another team member. Meantime, you will be able to spend more time on creating new content.

Wrapping up

In short, you don’t have to be a gifted and prolific writer to create good content. Rather, you need to be hard-working, self-disciplined and persevering. Always remember, your priority should be to create content that is helpful and readable to your target audience, not to become a literary genius.

Do you have any tips for non-writers? Please share them, below.


Featured image: Copyright: ‘‘ / 123RF Stock Photo

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Niraj is the founder of Hiver, an app that turns Gmail into a powerful customer support and collaboration tool.